Three rooftop bars in NKY to visit this summer


Although rooftop bars are very common in big cities (there’s about a dozen right across the river) there are a few this side of the river in NKY that are worth checking out before heading over to Cincy.

Braxton Brewery

There is no doubt that since the opening of their rooftop bar, Braxton has become a summer staple in many of our lives. The drinks here, amazing, the vibes, immaculate. There really is no better place than Braxton when you’re looking for a place to go this summer. The rooftop here offers so much more than their craft beers. Their own seltzers, cocktails, wine and their newest edition an alcoholic slushy, you’re sure to find something you like even if you aren’t a craft beer lover. Although Storm and Garage beer are two of their most popular beers, if you have yet to try Scooter, you are truly missing out. This beer is the perfect blend of hops and citrus creating the most refreshing, delicious beer I’ve ever had. I typically am not huge into craft beer, I find it usually to be too hoppy, but I could drink Scooter any time of the day at any occasion. The rooftop at Braxton is by far the best place to experience this downright delicious beverage. 

Outside of the beer itself, the aesthetic and atmosphere here is unmatched. This place is standing room only summer weekends, so I suggest trying it out during a weeknight or in the afternoon. The views over look downtown Covington but the rooftop itself has a huge wall full of plants and greenery that is gorgeous in the summer months. If you go at night you’ll get to see the fairy lights strung around the rooftop and all of Covington lit up. They often have live music on the rooftop too, so you can make an evening out of it, or just a quick stop on your way to dinner. Regardless this is a summer staple and one of my all-time favorite places to go. 

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If you’re looking for something a little more upscale, with views of Cincinnati, Lisse in Covington is a great date night spot. Lisse’s rooftop bar matches the atmosphere of the restaurant itself, it’s very classy and is a sit and stay awhile lounge vibe. The rooftop wraps around majority of the upper level. If you’re looking for a light appetizer and drink, there are often firepits and lounge chairs right when you walk out on the rooftop. This is perfect for a smaller group or a pair just looking to sit and chat. If you have a larger group or are looking to have a meal as well, you may be seated on the back portion of the patio that overlooks the Cincinnati skyline. 

This place also books up fairly quick unless you go closer to when they open or make a reservation in advance. 

Their wine and cocktail menus are extensive and even overwhelming if you don’t know what you want. Once Cool Cucumber which has gin, lime juice, bitters, simple syrup and soda is a really refreshing summer drink. If you want something to sit and sip while you watch the sunset Kentucky Sunset says it in its name, which has bourbon, lemon juice, blackberry, bitters and soda.

If the cocktail menu is too much for you to sift through, ordering a house wine is always an easy and just as delicious way to go.

Wise Guys

I originally discovered this place, the same way I assume most people have, by visiting the Goodfella’s Pizza directly underneath. The atmosphere of these two places was night and day and you would have never guessed that above the most delicious post night out pizza, is a classy speakeasy bar. This place tends to get busy on the weekends, large in part to the pizza below, but they hold their own and have made a great reputation for a cocktail lounge. Their patio is small, but they make up for it with lights, music and some delicious cocktails. Their drinks all have homemade juices and syrups for a truly authentic prohibition beverage. Outside of their homemade additions to their drinks, you will never see anyone make you a drink in a more creative way than at Wiseguy’s. 

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The last time I was there I saw them set someone’s drink on fire before serving it, so naturally I had to order whatever that was. Little did I know that was common for a few of their drinks as it can help alter the flavor. Once I had my flame shot, I decided to go to one of my favorite drinks and one of their classic’s a Moscow Mule. Cooling off on the rooftop post flame shot was a necessity and the rooftop was a much more serene atmosphere than what I expected from Mainstrauss. It’s tucked away behind the main commotion of the restaurants and bars and although you may not get a city view, this rooftop feels secluded and is a nice place to end your evening. But, if you really end it with a slice of pizza downstairs, no one judging you.